Before we get to the burgeoning civil war, let’s talk about the place and why people care. Kazakhstan has major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, and uranium. A number of foreign corporate interests have been setting up shop in Nur-Sultan (capitol), buying gifts and trying to impress the president-for-life and his family who run the place as if they own it all. (If it sounds a lot like the Bidens,  Hunter was there too, now his scratchings sell for more than the Old Masters).

A Few Maps

Ethnic Kazakhs derive from a mix of Turkic nomadic tribes that migrated to the region in the 15th century. The Kazakh steppe was conquered by the Russian Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1925. Repression and starvation caused by forced agricultural collectivization led to more than a million deaths in the early 1930s from starvation. (hint: never let the government control your food).

During the 1950s and 1960s, the agricultural “Virgin Lands” program led to an influx of settlers (mostly ethnic Russians, but also other nationalities) and at the time of Kazakhstan’s independence in 1991, ethnic Kazakhs were a minority. Non-Muslim ethnic minorities departed Kazakhstan in large numbers from the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s and a national program has repatriated about a million ethnic Kazakhs (from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and the Xinjiang region of China) back to Kazakhstan. As a result of this shift, the ethnic Kazakh share of the population now exceeds two-thirds.

Kazakhstan’s economy is the largest in the Central Asian states, mainly due to the country’s vast natural resources. Current issues include: diversifying the economy, obtaining membership in global and regional international economic institutions, enhancing Kazakhstan’s economic competitiveness, and strengthening relations with neighboring states and foreign powers.

By looking at the maps, you can understand why Russia has an interest in the place, occupying. a two-time zone long stretch on its southern border.

As the city hall in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, stood in flames and protesters pulled down the statue of the country’s first President (for life) Nursultan Nazarbayev, the image of the post-Soviet country as a beacon of stability in the volatile region disintegrated. Foreign businessmen intent on making themselves rich, fled, and the Russians heeded the call to send in troops to restore order.

The president (for life) has a big family and as the government took over the energy sector, they agreed to manage it. Yes, you could see an energy expert like Hunter running America’s energy,  couldn’t you, with The Big Guy getting 10%? Same thing in Kazakhstan.  The President’s Family is unhappy with the distribution because the government has been subsidizing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which most Kazakhs use as car fuel. They could keep the subsidy money if they ended it, so on January 1, they did and the price of home heating fuel and automobile fuel doubled. People were unhappy with the move and started lighting things on fire, killing police officers, etc.

Even though the government announced on Tuesday that fuel prices will be reduced to a level even lower than before the increase, and on Wednesday President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev sacked his cabinet the protests continued.

“Tokayev and the government might discuss the social and economic situation in the country and they may decide to raise salaries and social payments in the hope that it will ease the tensions. But in the end, everyone understands that the reforms won’t be real,” said Daniyar Khassenov, a Kazakh political activist based in Kyiv.

Kazakh law enforcement officers during a protest triggered by fuel price increase in Almaty, KazakhstanRiot police walk to block demonstrators gathering during a protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan [Vladimir Tretyakov/AP Photo]

The chant “Shal ket!” (“Old men must go!”) has been on the lips of protesters across Kazakhstan. And it is not a secret who Kazakhs have in mind.

Nazarbayev officially stepped down as president (for life – sorta) in 2019 and was replaced by his ally Tokayev. Nazarbayev subsequently took over as the head of the Security Council and it became clear that the old ruler was not eager to relinquish his power.

“Everyone in the country understands that Tokayev is just a nominee and that he doesn’t have any political power and influence within the country. The chants refer to the whole system that Nazarbayev built – his regime,” said Bota Jardemalie, a Kazakh lawyer, human rights advocate and political activist, who received political asylum in Belgium in 2013.

“It means his family members, his daughters that the country despises, his son-in-law Timur Kulibayev who has a monopoly in every sector of the economy, especially oil and gas, and everyone understands that it’s the monopoly that is behind the hikes in [gas] prices.”

The End of a Success Story?

Since its independence, Kazakhstan has been one of the few success stories of post-Soviet transformation. Rich in natural resources, including oil, gas, copper, coal, and uranium, and with one of the lowest population densities in the world, it was well placed to flourish without its former Soviet patron.

“Then he started taking over the economy sector by sector. His family always controlled the oil and gas industry and other natural resources, but they soon started taking over other industries like construction, banking, telecom, retail,” Jardemalie said.

“Now, we have both: political and economic monopoly of Nazarbayev and his clan,” Jardemalie said.

Meanwhile, the government has been curtailing individual freedoms and civil rights, using Covid-19 as an excuse. Be still my heart, they read from the American playbook.

Political opponents have been silenced or jailed, while the government conducted smear campaigns against its critics, resorting to arbitrary detention and the use of Interpol to pursue those who left the country.

Journalists have reported on the civil war in a way that American journalists never would. Naturally, the reporters in Kazakhstan were tossed in prison. The Americans read more clearly from the government’s playbook.

36 COMMENTS

    • Trump might not like it… But Frank, as much as I appreciate President Trump, it’s time for a larger change, and some younger blood in Congress, in the Executive, and for a removal of the FBI Director and possibly the top three layers of management there.

      • LL,
        I hate to disagree but;
        The FBI should be abolished root and stem, all current employees at any level should be denied employment in any state, local or federal LE and/or intelligence organizations.
        All the other so called federal LE agencies should be abolished and moved into the U.S Marshals and federal physical security force. Intelligence/counterintelligence will not detain or make arrests. It won’t happen but I can dream.

  1. Us mirroring them? Might be shared tactics at this point — A puppet installed in the White House, turning citizen against citizen, a total propagandist MSM, political prisoners for”trespassing”, and worse, indoctrinating children to hate their country. What’s next? Pretty sure they already have something in the works.

    “Let’s Go Brandon!” is a proper battle cry against the illegitimi…the cheats can’t arrest everyone.

        • Me either…it’s a revisionist play used by Pelosi to make an even weirder statement. Bizarro theater, yet, how many bought into yesterday’s embarrassment?

          Amerikastan is their goal. Half of us care a great deal about their trajectory, the other half are worried about getting a cold.

          • What about doing a minstrel show instead – sort of a take on antebellum South riverboat entertainment? It would be much better than Hamilton.

        • Who knows, but it seems to be all about replacing white men with women and/or “persons of color”. Not that white women are immune. Let’s take a look at some recent low-lights, shall we? In no particular order:
          1. BBC shows us that Anne Boleyn is a negress.
          2. BBC shows us that: a) Zeus is Nigerian (Hakeem Kae-Kazim); Achilles is a London-born Ghanian (David Kwaku Asamoah Gyasi); Patroclus is a South African Black (Lemogang Tsipa); Artemis is, God help us, an albino Black South African (Thando Hopa), and so forth.
          3. Marvel Comics (there is ton of this – these are only off the top of my head): Peter Parker replaced with Milo Morales as Spiderman; Tony Stark replaced with Riri Williams (Ironman to Ironheart), needless to say, Riri is a Black woman (hilariously, it appears that part of Ironheart was ripped off from a Japanese porno); Mary Jane Woshername (Peter Parker’s redheaded love interest) replaced with mixed-race Zendaya; it goes on.

          In the interest of equal time for deliberately hateful casting, I want to see a “bio-pic” movie where Anne Frank is portrayed by Mel Gibson, and another where Rosa Parks is played by Chris Pratt.

          • Chris Pratt is an excellent actor. I’m sure that he could play Rosa Parks in the made-for-TV movie… but as a Christian, he’d do a great MOHAMMED in the mini-series. He might balk at the child rape scenes though.

          • At least the new Jack Reacher series (Childs/Amazon Prime, Feb 4) uses an accurate lead, 6’5” fit white guy…as written. (No offense Tom, but despite a larger than life screen presence, and a decent bowl of popcorn worthy pair of JR movies, 5’8” just doesn’t cut it.)

    • I’m sure that they would if they could, but geography won’t work for them. Russia has an interest, China would like to have an interest. It’s their bone to fight over.

  2. I wonder how much China has been stirring the pot. Rich in minerals, neighboring country, corrupt leaders; what is not to like about that tasty morsel.

    • You never know. I’m sure that China had their people on the ground from a listening standpoint, but they are trying to woo Russia, not goad them.

  3. It’s never a good sign when the El Khan For Life builds a new capitol city, and names it after himself.

    -Kle.

  4. That police dog in the pic is the chubbiest one I’ve ever seen. I’m guessing it has spent many long winters inside a cozy policestation, alongside it’s handler, instead of doing police work outside in the cold.

    • Yes, Oscar! That is a fat shepherd! And what is it muzzled? Police dogs are meant to bite and bring their victims thrashing to ground!

    • I have always thought that a police dog on a long tether is a good way to move unruly crowds back. The muzzle makes no sense.

      To be effective, a police dog must train every day with its handler and must bite a sleeve or somebody in a bite suit or a felon. There was a call for a police dog where I live and I opposed it. You’d never see the deputy sheriff. He’d put half of his time in driving to where other officers are to train. (for those of you who don’t know, I live in a remote place) And the point is moot because they only left a deputy here a few months before hauling him back to a population center, leaving us to police ourselves as usual. If we need a posse, we form one. I call them vigilance committees but the term vigilante hasn’t really caught on. It’s rural Arizona.

    • It’s the best thing when watching the cop shows, if the dog gets to savage some low-life idiot.

      The dogs are always so happy !

      -Kle.

  5. i’m reading some reports that the whole kazak thing is a cia/biden regime move against the russians. they have some compelling background on it but i can’t believe the brandon crowd could pull anything off requiring any skill what so ever. then again, with 2500 russian “peacekeepers” in country it could be that brandon tried and it backfired as usual.

    • That sounds like a rumor. US assets would need to overfly China, Russia, Iran, etc. to support anything there. To me it looks like the President for Life and his family crossed a tipping point out of greed.

      • Well, we could do Turkey / Armenia / Azerbaijan, I suppose. Not likely.

        I agree though, Kazakhstan is just reaching an inevitable result by itself.

        -Kle.

  6. Large transport aircraft coming in heavy, JE Hoover bldg . Error in judgment ,,danger Will Robinson,,,Taps on a cold rainy afternoon.

  7. Thanks for the Geopolitical update and education. I didn’t know the place was that big. I’ll bet the ChiComs are drooling over those resources, but then so is Mother Russia.

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